The archipelago of Indonesia comprises of a total of 17,504 islands that are officially listed. The moderate climate that is clearly demarcated as wet season and dry season with no extremes of either summer or winter makes it ideal as a travel destination. With just about 6000 islands inhabited, this archipelago is home to three of world’s biggest islands namely Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. The archipelago has some of the most beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, oriental cuisine and exotic volcanoes that make this a very sought after travel destination for people from all over the world. Broadly, there are six major Indonesia islands that are worth mentioning about – namely, Sunda Islands, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Maluku Island, and New Guinea. However, the real treasure trove lies in some of the smaller pockets. Let’s take a dive into the list of Indonesian islands to find out.
Top 12 Indonesian Islands
Wondering which Indonesian islands to visit on your trip? Here is the perfect list of Indonesian islands that you should definitely explore. Take a look!
- Bali – A Honeymoon Paradise
- Ubud – Greenery Wherever You Look
- Mount Batur – Most-Visited Volcanic Site
- Raja Ampat Islands – Sports Activities Hub
- Gili Islands – Surf With Your Partner
- Bunaken – Admire The Marine Life
- Flores Island – Perfect Adventurous Escape
- Banda Island – Paradise For Thrill Seekers
- Bangka-Belitung Islands – Spend Time Beside Blue Ocean
- Wakatobi Islands – Gape At The Colorful Reefs
- Yogyakarta – Indulge In The Indonesian Culture
- Ternate Island – Famous Spot For Rare Spices
1. Bali - A Honeymoon Paradise
Bali is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world for being home to diverse landscapes, forests, gorgeous beaches, and vibrant spiritual culture. Oriental cultures have a beautiful essence that sets it apart from the rest of the world. And that essence can be experienced at its best in Bali. The culture of this soil is the emblem of the tripartite concept called Tri Hita Karana which means a beautiful harmony between man, God, and the environment. This beautiful understanding of life is at the core of the culture that they hold on to even today, Bali has, at equal tandem progressed with time to be at par with the rest of the world in every aspect.
How to reach Bali: Take a flight from your country to Ngurah Rai International Airport or Denpasar Airport in Bali to reach the destination.
Best time to visit Bali: June-August
Places to stay in Bali: Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa, Halaman Depan Hotel, Hotel Restu, and Hanging Gardens Of Bali.
Best restaurants in Bali: Restaurant Locavore, Mamasan Bali, and Spice Mantraa Indian Cuisine
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2. Ubud - Greenery Wherever You Look
Looking for the best Indonesian islands to visit- The cultural hub of Bali, Ubud has been home to the royal families of Bali and is one of the best places to explore in Indonesia. The amazing landscapes, lofty mountains and a flourishing art and crafts centre, this place is a must visit for every traveler.
How to reach Ubud: To reach Ubud, take a flight to Denpasar Airport and then take a bus from there.
Best time to visit Ubud: July-September
Places to stay in Ubud: Champlung Sari Hotel, Ngurah Hostel Ubud, and The Junjungan Bungalow
Best restaurants in Ubud: Uma Cucina, Blanco Par Mandif, and Padi Fine Dining
3. Mount Batur - Most-Visited Volcanic Site
Wondering how many islands in Indonesia are there, is quite obvious for all travelers. There are many but one of the most popular is the Mount Batur. One of the most visited volcanic sites, the trekking trip to the top of Mount Batur is grueling as well as worth it for the sheer view of the still-active volcano. To be able to be on the top during sunrise or sunset will be an incredible experience.
How to reach Mount Batur: Take a flight to Denpasar Airport and then take a bus from Ubud to Kintamani to reach Mount Batur.
Best time to visit Mount Batur: May-July
Places to stay in Mount Batur: Volcano Terrace Bali and Triangle House Mount Batur
Best restaurants in Mount Batur: Grand Puncak Sari Restaurant and The Amore Bali
4. Raja Ampat Islands - Sports Activities Hub
Raja Ampat Islands fall under the Papua region of Indonesia and comprises of more than 600 small, individual islands with four major isles namely Waigeo, Misoo, Bantana and Salawati. Being one of the major sites best known for its biodiversity, this is one of the popular spots for scuba diving, snorkeling and bird watching. So, when are you heading to snorkel around the one of the best islands in Inodnesia?
How to reach Raja Ampat Islands: Take a flight to Sorong and then take a ferry to Waisai in Raja Ampat Islands.
Best time to visit Raja Ampat Islands: October-April
Places to stay in Raja Ampat Islands: Papua Paradise Eco Resort and Kri Eco Resort
Best restaurants in Raja Ampat Islands: Warung Cahaya Bone Waisai Raja Ampat, Warung Prasmanan Raja Ampat, and Rumah Makan Pondok Lesehan.
5. Gili Islands - Surf With Your Partner
Yet another paradise for scuba divers and honeymooners alike, Gili Islands have garnered a lot of name and fame among travelers from all over the world. Gili Trawangan and Gili Air being the largest of all the Gili Islands have evolved to be one of best sites for surfing, scuba diving and relaxing while Gili Meno has been an all time favourite as a romantic destination. Gili Islands is a perfect spot for those who are looking for a destination where they can spend time with their beloved.
How to reach Gili Islands: The best way to reach Gili Islands is to take a flight to Lombok’s airport and then take a taxi to the destination.
Best time to visit Gili Islands: September-November
Places to stay in Gili Islands: Vila Ombak Hotel, Les Villas Ottalia Gili Meno, and Aston Sunset Beach Resort.
Best restaurants in Gili Islands: Kayu Cafe and Karma Kayak
Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do On Weh Island For A Complete Indonesian Vacay!
6. Bunaken - Admire The Marine Life
Home to the most exotic Bunaken National Marrine Park with 70 per cent of the entire fish species reserve in the whole of Indo-Western Pacific Ocean, Baunaken Island is invariable the top of the chart for scuba divers and snorkelers. This place is also famous for its local liquor named Cap Tikus. All travelers who love chilling with their friends while enjoying the local delicacies should definitely this island.
How to reach Bunaken: Arrive at Manado and take a 50-minutes boat ride to Bunaken Island.
Best time to visit Bunaken: June-October
Places to stay in Bunaken: Mamaling Resort Bunaken, Bastianos Bunaken Dive Resort, and Froggies Divers Bunaken
Best restaurants in Bunaken: Mougie Restaurant and Restoran Nelson Bunaken
Planning your holiday in Bali but confused about what to do? These Bali travel stories help you find your best trip ever!
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7. Flores Island - Perfect Adventurous Escape
The vivid glories of nature in its full manifestation can be experienced in the Flores Island. Situated in one of the lesser Sunda Islands, Flores provides the best views of the landscape. Also the most popular approach to the Komodo National Park which gives the tourist a sneek peek into the natural abode of the Komodo dragons. The other attraction in Flores Island is the changing colors of the water in the crater lakes on Mount Kelimutu. This is the reason why the Flores Island has been able to bag the title of one of the most beautiful Indonesian islands.
How to reach Flores Island: Reach Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali and from Denpasar you can take a direct flight to Labuan Bajo.
Best time to visit Flores Island: Mid-April - Mid-October
Places to stay in Flores Island: Cinnamon Guesthouse, Bintang Flores Hotel, and Eco Tree O’tel
Best restaurants in Flores Island: La Cucina and Happy Banana Komodo
Suggested Read: A Tour Guide To The Java Island in Indonesia
8. Banda Island - Paradise For Thrill Seekers
Banda Islands in South Maluku is best known for spices particularly nutmeg. Years of foreign dominance by Portuguese, Dutch and British has given its culture a unique signature. It is also the seat for the highest peak in the whole of Indonesia Gunung Api. Much like any other island, it is famous various hiking and other water sports such as surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
How to reach Banda Island: To reach Banda Island, you will first have to reach Ambon from where you can take a fast ferry and reach the destination in 5-6 hours.
Best time to visit Banda Island: November-March
Places to stay in Banda Island: Cilu Bintang Estate, Allan Bungalow, and The Maulana
Best restaurants in Banda Island: Mukusu Restaurant and Green View Restaurant
9. Bangka-Belitung Islands - Spend Time Beside Blue Ocean
The most gorgeous beaches are to be found in the Bangka-Belitung Islands. The virgin beaches are yet to experience the influx of heavy tourism-driven traffic to mar its pristine beauty. Some of the other highlights include the pug marks of the Dutch colonialism in its architecture and lighthouses build in the 19th century.
How to reach Bangka-Belitung Islands: You will first have to reach Jarkarta, Singapore or Malaysia from where you can take a direct flight to Tanjung Pandan in Belitung.
Best time to visit Bangka-Belitung Islands: February-March, October-November
Places to stay in Bangka-Belitung Islands: Menumbing Heritage Hotel, Hotel Santika Premiere Beach Resort, and Novotel Bangka
Best restaurants in Bangka-Belitung Islands: Restaurant Dynasty and Rumah Makan Fega
10. Wakatobi Islands - Gape At The Colorful Reefs
Yet another beach destination that is yet to experience heavy footfall of the tourists is the small archipelago of the Wakatobi Islands. It is one of the best islands in Indonesia that is known to be the most popular diving destinations. The best among the lot is Pulau Tomia which offers a sneak peek into its staggering marine life and Pulau Hoga for its vibrant coral reefs
How to reach Wakatobi Islands: Fly to Jakarta or Bali first and then take a flight to Wangi-Wangi Island. From this island, you can take a ferry ride or a private boat to the destination.
Best time to visit Wakatobi Islands: March-December
Places to stay in Wakatobi Islands: Tomia Villa, Wakatobi Patuna Resort, Labore Stay, and Wakatobi Dive Resort.
Best restaurants in Wakatobi Islands: Wasabinua Hotel & Dive Resort, Ampupu Beach Resort, and Warung Makan D’Bantea
11. Yogyakarta - Indulge In The Indonesian Culture
If you have had enough of the beach activities and want to delve a little into the cultural aspects of Indonesia, you should head towards Yogyakarta. Here, you get to see and experience the vibrant crafts and the awesome oriental cuisine. With Mount Merapi at its back and the vast Indian ocean lying ahead of it, Yogyakarta is undeniably one of the most picturesque sites. However, the main attraction is its vibrant culture, remains of the ancient temples and the myths and legends that come alive through their dance shows and artwork.
How to reach Yogyakarta: You can reach Yogyakarta by taking a flight till Bali and then reach Sumatra Island to get to Yogyakarta.
Best time to visit Yogyakarta: May-October and December
Places to stay in Yogyakarta: Snooze Yogyakarta, Duta Guest House, and Yogyakarta BnB
Best restaurants in Yogyakarta: Mediterranea Restaurant and Milas Vegetarian Resto
Suggested Read: 10 Holiday Homes In Indonesia For A Laid Back Island Vacation
12. Ternate Island - Famous Spot For Rare Spices
Ternate is one of the Maluku Islands which had once been the sole supplier for nutmeg, mace, cloves, and many other rare spices. Apart from the breathtaking landscapes of Sulamadaha Beach and the awe-inspiring Volcano Gamalama, it is a spot for great interest for history enthusiasts as they can delve deep into the colonial reminiscences of Portugal, Dutch and Spanish reign on this land. Important landmarks include Fort Ornaje and Fort Tolukko.
How to reach Ternate Island: You will first have to take a flight till Jakarta and from there take another flight to Ternate Island.
Best time to visit Ternate Island: October-May
Places to stay in Ternate Island: Grand Dafam Bela Ternate, Aini Homestay, and Villa Ma’Rasai
Best restaurants in Ternate Island: Restoran Floridas and Royal’s Resto
This list of Indonesian islands can’t be missed and you should definitely put them on your bucket list. Already excited to take a trip to Bali? Don’t wait anymore. Get packed, book your trip to Indonesia with TravelTriangle and leave right away!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Indonesian Islands
A. The five main islands of Indonesia are Java, Sumatra, New Guinea, Borneo, and Sulawesi. Apart from this, there are several small island groups in Indonesia.
A. There are around 18,307 islands in Indonesia according to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN).
A. No one can point out one beautiful place in Indonesia as there are many places like Maluk Beach, Mount Rinjani, and Mount Bromo.
A. Gili Trawangan and Wang-Wangi are some of the best islands to explore in Indonesia that everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime.
A. Yes, Indonesia is one of the safest places to visit in the world and there have been rare crimes against tourists.